I’d love to hear the opinion of some current or former technicians if there are any on here.
I’m always curious how much technicians/ mechanics are active on car forums. Do you guys ever consult online communities or forums with your customers repairs? And if not, why not?
So…I have a 2001 Jeep GC. I have no professional experience in auto repair. Everything I know is from watching youtube videos like ETCG, and forums. Over the years I’ve fixed many problems myself, and a few times I’ve had to seek professional help on jobs that are above my capability. One thing that always surprises me though, is that I’m frequently more aware of known issues and the idiosyncrasies of my vehicle model than the person I’m paying to diagnose and repair it. Maybe this is unfair, as mechanics can’t possibly know everything about every vehicle that comes in. But on the other hand, why not? It doesn’t take that long to do a google search right? Is this a fair critique?
For the first 8 or so years of my JGC’s life, it would warp brake rotors at an alarming rate. I went online and found that this is a known issues with WJ’s. A poor design of the front calipers. I discussed this with many mechanics who brushed this off as they charged me for new rotors and pads. “Eh, I don’t see it” was a common response. “If the caliper was uneven or stuck, it would look like this, or do this etc, etc”. “Changing the calipers would be a waste of money” is what I heard from more than one repair shop. And who am I to argue? I know nothing about correctly diagnosing a poorly designed or malfunctioning caliper. After my third set of rotors warped by 70k miles, I finally got the balls to change the calipers myself. Problem solved. It’s never been an issue for the last 100k miles. The online community nailed it.
This hasn’t been an issue isolated to one problem with one shop either. It’s happened several times over the years. One guy didn’t know how to bleed the system properly after replacing the radiator. Another couldn’t figure out why the power steering pump kept leaking. One guy spent over an hour on the flasher relay (It look me 10 minutes). All fairly common problems in Jeeps, and which I found in a few quick clicks.
My point isn’t that I’m smarter than these guys. I have no idea what I’m doing, and they all know way more about fixing cars than I ever will. Yet, I came up with the right answer before any of them ever did by doing some online searching. Is this a tool that most mechanics aren’t using? Why not?
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